Former ANZ bank employee to repay more than $200,000 in embezzled funds

Court orders employee to repay bank $130 weekly

Former ANZ bank employee to repay more than $200,000 in embezzled funds

A former employee of ANZ Bank has been ordered to pay $130 a week to completely compensate for the $262,000 that he embezzled from his former employer.

The Auckland District Court handed the order to 25-year-old Aayush Arora last week, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Arora has already returned the $47,000 that he had not spent, and he said through his lawyer that he could pay another $2,500 in reparation immediately, according to the report.

Judge Debra Bell also authorised an additional $20,000 to be removed from his KiwiSaver account to contribute to his repayment.

But he still has over $190,000 that he needs to repay his former employer, which reports said could still take more than 25 years to pay given the current pace of Arora's reimbursement.

Arora is currently a cashier at a South Auckland restaurant, according to the Herald report, and the judge said that his weekly payments will be reassessed in a year to see if they can be increased.

Arora's embezzlement

The former ANZ Bank employee's embezzlement problem stems from a gambling addiction that he developed since starting in 2019.

A report provided to the court before sentencing revealed that Arora began gambling in an effort to support his family, where ended up taking out multiple loans from finance companies to pay off his losses.

His debt, however, ballooned significantly, and in attempt to repay them, he used his position at ANZ Bank to approve 15 fraudulent loans over a one-month period last winter while working from home.

"His intention was to gamble [the embezzled ANZ money] and pay off his debt to have a normal life, but it didn't pan out that way," Bell said as quoted by the Herald.

The bank only discovered the missing money in a July audit, with Arora later arrested in October.

Employee admits to ‘serious offending’

Defence lawyer Hyuk Woo told the court that Arora accepts that he committed "really serious offending," and he was willing to repay.

He has also already excluded himself from SkyCity Casino, where he largely gambled away the embezzled funds, according to the defence lawyer.

Woo pushed for a community detention sanction, putting forward Arora's remorse, the cultural factors, his guilty plea, and his previous good character.

Bell, however, rejected this sanction and ordered a home detention for Arora.

"The steps you have started to take are to be commended, Mr. Arora, but you've got a long way to go," the judge said as quoted by the Herald.

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